SLAYER Guitarist KERRY KING Names His 10 Favourite Metal Albums
July 16, 2017, 9 months ago
Slayer guitarist Kerry King has revealed his 10 favourite heavy metal albums to Rolling Stone. Among his picks are titles from Mercyful Fate, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Rainbow. Exodus and Ozzy Osbourne. An excerpt from the rundown is available below.
Exodus - Bonded By Blood (1985)
King: "I was looking through my records when I made this list and I was like, 'Oh, Exodus.' If I had to pick one record from Exodus to listen to the rest of my life, it'd be Bonded by Blood. I love Shovel Headed Kill Machine and The Atrocity Exhibition, but Bonded By Blood has just got great songs on it. "Strike of the Beast" is one of my favorite Exodus songs ever. So much so that one tour, we played it live.
We did the Ultimate Revenge with Exodus and Venom in 1985. I didn't hang a lot with (singer Paul) Baloff. I remember hanging with Gary Holt and probably Rick Hunolt. It was like we were the same band. Well, we were definitely darker than them, but we had very similar sound, very similar presence, very similar aggression. The songs are based on the same structure. They were from the Bay Area, we were from L.A. and we were just kind of brother bands. There are just great songs on Bonded by Blood, like 'Piranha', 'Bonded By Blood', 'And Then There Were None'. They're all winners. There's nothing on here to skip. I will listen to that entire record from top to bottom."
Mercyful Fate - Melissa (1983)
King: "I almost forgot about including Mercyful Fate. I was looking through my records and I'm like, 'Oh, God, Mercyful Fate.' On Melissa, in particular, it was Mercyful Fate finding their sound. And that's what the band, had they stayed together, would probably have sounded like to this day. It has great songwriting. I love the guitar duo of Michael Denner and Hank Shermann. And King Diamond has a completely unique style of singing and you either love it or hate it. Anybody would have a hard time finding fault in Melissa. It's just really well done.
There was definitely a Mercyful Fate influence on (Slayer's) Hell Awaits. You can tell by the super long songs with, like, 10,000 riff changes. That was definitely a Mercyful Fate influence. You can hear that on Melissa on 'Into the Coven' and 'Melissa' – every time I hear that, it's such a sad song, it stays with me for like a day. I'll just sing it in my head.
Actually, in 2015, on the last Mayhem Fest we played, I actually got onstage with King Diamond and played 'Evil' for, like, eight shows. That was a gigantic thrill for me, and it was a gigantic thrill for King, too. And I don't think of myself in that context; I'm like, 'That's King Diamond. What the hell do you want me onstage for?' But he was really into it, and if you told teenage Kerry that someday I would be onstage with King Diamond playing Mercyful Fate songs, I'd go, 'Fuck right off.' Even though Melissa came out the same year as Show No Mercy, there were preexisting releases – I had the Mercyful Fate EP – so they were bigger than us in my eyes. And I was still a teenager, so I was super impressionable. It was very easy for me to latch onto a hero."
Click here for King's complete list.